Watchers Council – Lounge – Night
“Any news from Robin?” Giles asked Faith as she entered the downstairs lounge. Giles was reading a newspaper, but put it down for a moment. Faith collapsed into a recliner before answering.
She nodded. “He called about an hour ago from the Dallas Airport – we’ve been on the phone.”
“The whole hour?” Giles smirked.
“Yeah, pretty amazin’, huh? I can actually talk to someone I have sex with.” She blushed, then began to fidget uncomfortably.
“It’s okay to have a boyfriend, Faith,” Giles told her as he regarded her rigid posture.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” she said firmly. “Sixteen-year old girls in high school have boyfriends. He’s my guy. And I’m kinda, sorta his gal.”
Giles gave her a sympathetic smile. “You really like him. I can tell.”
“Yeah well, it’s not like I’m seeing white, lacy wedding dresses in my future or anything but…yeah, he’s pretty cool…Actually, he’s better than cool. He’s the best I’ve ever found and I don’t wanna screw it up, okay?” Faith sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. “Look, can we just drop this conversation?” she added. She shifted in her seat uneasily.
“A-Alright,” Giles said with a nod. “Has he contacted the slayer there?”
Faith relaxed and said, “Yeah, he called her. He’s heading to her house tomorrow morning.”
Giles didn’t say anything more. He simply regarded Faith with a warm smile.
“That’s it,” Faith said rising, frustrated with Giles’s pleasure at watching her anxiety. “I’m gonna grab a drink? You want anything?”
“I’m fine,” he told her.
“Good, because you’d be pretty thirsty. I wasn’t comin’ back anyway until that smirk was gone,” she said firmly, before giving him a small grin.
Watchers Council – Computer area/Main Floor – Night
Willow was at one of the computers typing when she heard the knock at the door. She pushed her chair back from the desk and traveled to look out the peephole they had installed for safety measures.
She could see James Tyrell out front.
“Oh brother,” she sighed, walking away without answering it. She passed Andrew, who came out to see who had arrived. As she moved toward the lounge, she told him, “Don’t answer that yet.”
Watchers Council – Lounge – Moments Later
Giles had returned to reading his paper when Willow poked her head inside and announced, “We’ve got company…again.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
“You rang?” Giles said as he opened the front door.
“May I come in, Rupert?” Tyrell asked politely.
Giles paused a moment in consideration, then opened the door wider. Upon entering, Tyrell nodded to Andrew and Willow. “Ms. Rosenberg, Mr. Wells,” he said formally.
Neither said a word and both stood with a similar posture – arms folded across their chests and scowls on their faces.
“It’s rather late,” Giles told him. “Something you’d like to discuss, Mr. Tyrell?”
“You may call me James, you know?”
“I’d rather not,” Giles said shortly. “What’s your business here?”
James casually strolled around the room. “Are you really going to continue with this, Rupert?”
“And what, pray tell, do you mean by ‘this’?” Giles challenged.
“This ‘New Council,’ ‘New Guard’ – whatever it is you’re calling it.”
“I think the answer is obvious. The real question is, why do you feel the need to control our group?”
“Does your group now include Rowena?”
“Perhaps that’s something you should be asking her,” Giles told him.
“I know she’s living here,” Tyrell retorted.
“Yes, well, it seems someone destroyed her father’s fishing boat and the money she used for lodging has now gone for the down payment on a business loan for him. But I’m sure you knew that, as well,” Giles countered. “After all, no one is out of reach of the Old Guard, are they?”
For a brief moment, Giles watched Tyrell flinch at his words. Giles gave a slight grin that didn’t stay long.
“I trained Rowena myself,” Tyrell said, looking a bit reminiscent. “She had such potential.”
“Yes, well, even in light of your influence, I have to admit she seems to be a fine watcher.”
Tyrell snorted and shook his head. “You always had a fire, Rupert.”
“It’s called intelligence. Now as I said, James, it’s late and –”
“You think this is over? You think I don’t have more powerful tactics the Council could use? We do, and you should know that people could get hurt. Are you willing to risk that?”
“You’d be wise to take that back,” Giles told him, in a voice that left nothing to debate. “I refuse to listen to you threaten me or anyone else here.”
“You won’t win, Rupert.”
Giles didn’t say a word. He grabbed Tyrell by the back of the jacket and pulled him toward the door. Once there, he released Tyrell’s coat and roughly pushed him out of the building, making the man stumble to the sidewalk.
“Know this,” Giles began. “I’ve faced demons far greater than a group of retirees who think they understand the fight today. I’ve faced them all and I’ve won. But my true battle isn’t with you, Mr. Tyrell. It’s with the evil that faces this world. That’s what the Council should be battling – that’s why the Council was created. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have real monsters to face, not a group of pompous, long winded has-beens.”
Tyrell didn’t have the chance to reply before Giles slammed the door in his face.
Giles turned around to see Willow and Andrew, but he quickly looked over their shoulders, making them turn. Rowena stood at the upstairs landing, clearly having watched the events unfold.
“Did you mean what you said, Mr. Giles? About your Council’s goal?” she asked.
Before Giles could answer there was a pounding at the door again.
“Bloody hell,” Giles sighed before opening it. “Are you that ignorant –”
He stopped when he saw Brell standing before him, panting hard. The rest of the group came over to the door.
“The good guy is bad guy,” Brell told him.
“This isn’t news,” Giles replied.
“You know he is a three-eyed Fadus demon?” Brell asked.
The group all turned to each other, then all at the same time turned back to Brell and replied, “What?”
Watchers Council – Lounge – Night
“You’re saying that Mr. DeVeer is a Fadus demon?” Giles asked.
“Yes!” Brell replied.
Willow and Andrew looked a bit confused. “How do you know DeVeer?” Willow asked.
“Brell see him talking to her at bank,” he said pointing to Rowena. “He smiled at her. Brell thought two watchers. But man not watcher. Man is Fadus demon. Brell watched him suck life force from pretty woman in car. His eyes got black and her eyes got black – Fadus demon.”
Willow began to take notes on the legal pad in front of her.
“Classic signs of a Fadus demon, all right,” Rowena told them. Seeing a few surprised looks, she explained. “They take the shape of a human, but they’re really a demon underneath. In order to keep their human appearance they need a human’s life force.”
“Were you aware of this?” Giles asked Rowena.
“Absolutely not,” she replied. “DeVeer is new to the group by the Old Guard’s standards. But he’s been there for a few years now. And ask me if I’m shocked that the Old Guard has a demon in their ranks, and not a friendly demon here like Brell, and I’d say no.”
“Perhaps you’re an evil demon, too,” Giles said, cocking his head as he waited for an answer.
Rowena grinned and shook her head in frustration. “I am NOT a demon. I’m a watcher who spent the last year of her life running, and obviously I’m not where I’m supposed to be yet.”
“Hold on,” Willow told the room. She began a muttering chant and finished with “Aperio!” A light began to glow around Brell, and Brell alone. With a wave of her hand, the light vanished and she turned back to Giles. “She’s human.”
“Well, what would you advise, Ms. Allister?” Giles questioned.
“You’re really looking for my opinion?” she asked
“If I wasn’t I wouldn’t have asked. So…” he repeated.
“Well,” Rowena sighed. “We’ve got – Sorry, YOU’VE got three options. Tell the Old Guard about DeVeer, kill DeVeer or act ignorant while we – you, keep him under surveillance.”
“And the best option?” Giles prompted.
“Number three,” Rowena answered immediately. “Find out what he’s up to. In fact, it might be possible to have Brell keep tabs on him and earn a little extra cash if the Watchers Council has the funds. And that’s if Brell agrees, of course.”
Giles took a deep breath. “Well, Brell, would you like to earn a few extra dollars for the wife and spawns, as you call them? Perhaps follow Mr. DeVeer; report on who he talks to and where?”
“Watchers keep Brell safe when need be. That could be thanks enough.”
“No,” Giles insisted. “We’ll pay you for your services and if you prove worthy, as you have so far, we’ll certainly aid your family if need be.”
“Okay! Brell help!” he said, reaching out and shaking Giles’s hand.
Giles reached into his pocket, retrieving his wallet and taking out two hundred dollar bills before handing them over. Brell’s eyes widened at the amount in his hands.
“Watch him,” Giles told Brell, “but don’t get too close and don’t confront him for any reason. That’s what our slayers are for. Understood?”
He nodded. “Brell understand.”
“Good then. The more you can tell us that proves accurate, the more we’ll pay you.” Giles paused a moment and asked Rowena, “Do you know where Mr. DeVeer is staying?”
“He was at a hotel downtown, but Tyrell is holed up somewhere just outside the city. I’m guessing he’s moved in with them…We kinda had a confrontation at the bank, like Brell said, so I think it’s safe to say that he’s still in the fold,” she replied.
“Do you know where exactly?” Giles asked.
“Unfortunately, no. Silly me. I didn’t ask for details. I didn’t think I’d need to be staking them out,” Rowena retorted. “But I’d be happy to take Brell to the old location. See if maybe he turns up there?”
Giles reached into his pocket and handed her the keys to his Aston Martin. “Show him the hotel and then take him back home, so we know where he lives in case there’s any emergency. Alright?”
Rowena nodded and motioned Brell to the door. After they were gone, Willow turned to Giles.
“Giving her the keys to your baby, Giles? That’s a big step. Bigger than giving her food and lodging here, actually, ” she teased.
“Yes, well, I’m beginning to think that Ms. Allister is a victim of circumstance much like we are.”
“I’ll pray to the goddess that you’re right.”
Watchers Council – Willow and Kennedy’s Bedroom – Night
Willow was dressed in her pajamas, putting lotion on her arms, when Kennedy walked in, tossing her jacket in the chair with a sigh.
“Hey, rough night, Sweetie?” Willow asked.
“Not too bad,” she replied. “Getting busier though. Seems your theory about all the demons making their way east to an open Hellmouth is correct.”
Kennedy walked behind Willow and put her arms around the redhead’s waist, then kissed the top of her shoulder. Willow turned in Kennedy’s arms and put her hands on the brunette’s shoulders, only to watch the slayer flinch.
“You okay?” Willow asked.
“Yeah,” Kennedy said, pulling away and brushing it off. Willow watched as Kennedy kicked her shoes off and pulled down her jeans. With just her button down oxford shirt on, Kennedy walked over to the dresser. “Kinda got tossed into a brick wall tonight. Got a little scraped up.”
“Hold on,” Willow said, leaving the room.
Kennedy finished putting on her nightgown as Willow returned with a bottle of peroxide. “Come over to the bed,” Willow told her as she took a seat and made space.
Kennedy didn’t follow immediately. Instead she went to the dresser and pulled a small box out of her nightstand. “I got you something the other day,” she began. “Kind of a graduation present. I would have given it to you sooner, but things have been kinda crazy if you hadn’t noticed.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” Willow told her with a thankful smile.
“I didn’t have to…but I wanted to. I never had a girlfriend before and, well, this is standard girlfriend stuff right? Special occasions, anniversaries and things like that?” Kennedy replied.
Willow gave her a warm smile and patted the bed. “Yeah but…no girlfriend before? I was under the impression that you were kinda experienced. If not, you’re a quick learner.”
“Well, I’ve had lots of lovers,” Kennedy answered. Suddenly she looked worried. “I mean I’m not a bed-hopper, but I’m not a virgin either,” she said quickly. “Most of the girls I’ve known just wanted to experiment, play around. Nothing committed, ya know? But this…you and me…it’s different. So…” Kennedy sighed as she handed Willow the small, light blue box with a silver bow attached to the top. “Happy graduation, Will.”
Willow caressed Kennedy’s face and gave her a light kiss on the cheek before looking at the box. “Thank you,” she told her softly. She paused a moment, then pulled the small ribbon and tore into the box with child-like enthusiasm, making Kennedy chuckle. Lying on a soft bed of black velvet was a silver Celtic knotwork pentagram, with a stunning ruby filling the center. Willow grinned as she took it carefully from the box.
“Oh, Kennedy!” Willow exclaimed as she removed the pendant that was attached to a silver chain and held it up to the light. “It’s beautiful. And expensive! You shouldn’t have!”
Kennedy shrugged and smiled. “As if I cared about money. I liked it, Will. I could imagine the red accenting the wonderful green of your eyes. Okay, you make me sappy,” Kennedy chuckled.
“Thank you,” Willow said. She leaned in for another kiss.
“I wasn’t sure what to get,” Kennedy answered with anxiety in her voice. “I looked at books, but you’ve already got a ton of them. Then they had herbs, but I’m not sure what kind you use or don’t have so –”
“I love it,” Willow said to stop the insecure babble. She turned around on the bed and handed the necklace to her lover, then lifted her hair up.
Taking the cue, Kennedy put the necklace around Willow’s neck and the witch turned back around to face her. “So, does this mean we’re going steady now?” Kennedy quipped as she settled against the bed. Willow leaned down and kissed her.
“You can be a real sweetheart sometimes,” Willow told her with a smile.
“You mean I’m not always?” Kennedy asked with a knowing smirk. “Okay don’t answer that and ruin the moment.”
Willow just chuckled. “Come on. I’ve got a slayer to fix up. “She reached for the peroxide.
As Willow started to dab the disinfectant on the large scrape, Kennedy looked up and asked, “How did you foul your athame?”
Willow stopped her ministrations for a moment and picked up the bottle, getting the cotton wet again. “Who told you about that?’
“Andrew. Well, Rowena too. She said once an athame is fouled and draws blood it can’t be used again. I was just curious.”
Willow didn’t say anything. She just continued to tend to Kennedy’s scratch.
“Look,” the slayer began, “if you don’t want to talk about it –”
“No,” Willow said, shaking her head. “It’s okay…I used it on a fawn,” she told her.
“A fawn?” Kennedy asked, shocked. “A baby deer?”
“I killed it,” Willow admitted. “We needed blood for the spell to bring back Buffy. Because I’d used my athame as part of a ritual sacrifice, I could never use it again. So I got rid of it.”
“Tara let you do that? Kill an innocent for a ritual?” Kennedy asked.
“No,” Willow said emphatically. “I lied and told her I got it on the black market. I kept a lot of things from her around that time – all of them, actually. Later, I told Tara I’d lost my athame in all the brouhaha after the spell with the crazy demon biker gang. She was upset because she had given it to me at my first degree initiation of being a Wiccan. It had been in her mother’s family a long time, too.”
“I just can’t picture it, Will,” Kennedy said, one hand tenderly cupping Willow’s sad face, her own face troubled. “You’re so gentle. You’re one of the most compassionate people I know.”
Willow smiled briefly, before looking serious again. “Maybe I am now, but at the time I was determined to do anything I had to in order to bring Buffy back. I thought it was the only way, but I was wrong. It was the easy way. And the easy way is not always the best way.”
Kennedy thought a moment more and then smiled softly. “So now you have a new knife?” she asked.
“Yes,” Willow said. “And it’s pure and it’s powerful and it speaks to my soul. It’s a good tool. Althenea gave it to me when I got my second degree in England last summer. I’ll show it to you sometime, if you’d like.”
“Maybe,” Kennedy shrugged. “But you know me…I like stuff you can do damage with. I’ll leave the magic to you.”
“Umm,” Willow said, snuggling closer. “Who says you don’t have magic?”
“Only with you, my little witch,” Kennedy said, embracing her lover. “Only with you.” Kennedy paused a moment and quietly asked. “Do you kill things with the magics you do now? I mean if it came down to it?”
“No,” Willow answered. “Like I said, it was a pretty dark spell and I’m staying away from violent stuff. In fact, I found some spells to heal Xander’s eye, but I’m not buying the ‘terms of service.’ So I keep searching for all my magical options, preferably staying on the light side of the force.” Willow paused and shook her head. “Oh Gods, I’m starting to sound like Andrew now.”
Willow chuckled as Kennedy began to frown. “I’m sorry for bringing it all up. I didn’t want to upset you – just wondered, that’s all.”
“It’s okay. A-and it’s good that you asked. Sure, I’m pretty mild mannered most of the time, but I can…” Willow paused and licked her lips nervously. “I know my capabilities now and my limitations. I don’t mind talking about them, least of all with you,” Willow ended with a grin.
“Well, like I’ve said, I don’t understand all this magic stuff but…it’s part of who you are and where you’ve been.”
“It’s where I’m going too,” Willow offered. “I’ve still got lots of book learnin’ to do,” she teased. “But I’m getting there.”
“And as the dutiful girlfriend I’ll do everything I can to help.”
Kennedy smiled and Willow soon joined in. “Yeah,” the redhead smirked. “My opinion still stands. A real sweetheart sometimes.”
Kennedy reached over, taking the peroxide bottle from Willow and putting it on the nightstand. As she did, Kennedy gave her a sexy smirk and turned out the light.
Giles’s Car – City Street – Night
“DeVeer there,” Brell said to Rowena, pointing out the window.
“Yeah, that’s the place, but it was a day or two ago,” she said, facing him. “I don’t think he –”
“No!” Brell said, pointing more adamantly out the window. “DeVeer there!”
Rowena looked out the window to see DeVeer speaking with Tyrell, while two other men carried some boxes.
“Well, I’ll be,” Rowena snickered. “Got any plans tonight, Brell? Care to take a drive out of the city?”
“Brell go with you,” he told her.
She nodded and watched as the four men climbed into a limousine and started on their way. Putting the car in drive, Rowena pulled into traffic, following a few lengths behind.
End of Act Two